Blog Photo 4 Stock photography is experiencing a boon thanks to the demand for unique photography on websites, blogs and other types of sites. But, just as you may not want to be seen at a party with the same outfit as someone else – you don’t want to use the same photos to enhance your content as other Internet marketers are using.
Fortunately, there is a wide variety of sites for finding just the right photo(s) – and there are some things you should know about taking a stock photo that you may get from a free site and making it stand out so it doesn’t look like all the others.

You don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for a professional photographer to take special photos for you. Nor do you have to bother with copyright or licensing documents and fees. With a little creativity and sometimes a little help from the vast array of free tools available to you online, you can make an impact on your site with any stock photo you find. You can make it look like an image that was designed and created especially for you.


Here are some tips that are fun and creative that can help you transform a stock photo into one that reflects your own style and creativity:


Learn how to crop photos

There may be elements in a stock photo that you’ve decided to use that you really don’t need or that would look better removed from the image.

It’s so easy to crop photos using just about any platform you choose. Focus on the area of the photo you think is best for your needs and then crop the rest out to make an ordinary stock photo come alive.


Use special effects

You can turn any photo into a work of art by using various photo­editing techniques. For example, after cropping a photo, you can soften it by blurring the background image, causing the foreground to stand out more.

You can easily make any stock photo image look like an oil painting, a pencil drawing or an antique photo by using various special effects techniques to make it look more original and interesting.


Think about your image

When choosing a stock photo and changing it to meet your style, think about the image that you want to portray online. For example, if you’re all about fashion, you may want to choose or create a hip, chic photo image.

You need an image that will echo the overall message that you’re trying to get across to visitors to your site, blog or other types of content. Stock photos should always enhance your work rather than take away from its meaning and message.


Stay away from face shots

When people are seeing the same face over and over again and see it on your site too, they tend to be turned off. The previous site where they’ve seen the model’s face may have hyped something you’d rather not be associated with.

Dig a little deeper and you can probably find a stock photo that you can live with and use successfully.


Look at lots of photos before choosing one

Don’t just take the first photo you come to that sort of fits what you want. Look farther into the stock photo files.

For example, if you’re writing about finances, don’t just choose a dollar sign, even though it may fit the purpose. But, everyone is using that for their sites. Choose something more descriptive of the content.


Highlight aspects of the photo

To move beyond cropping a photo, you could use the technique of highlighting a certain area of the image and thus create a different focal point.

Your creativity of highlighting what you want to focus on will draw the viewer’s eye to exactly what you want them to see.


Create a collage from several stock photos

Collages are effective means of communication. It makes the viewer want to linger longer on the photos to see what’s there.

All a collage involves is cutting and pasting. You can add lines, shadow certain areas or creating a puzzle effect.


Create a new image from one or more photos

There’s so much you can do with various elements in a photo to make it look completely different and new. Play with the images to see what works.

For example, on a face shot, you could use a mouth from one image and eyes from another.


Use color effectively

Color is a great medium to play with. You can create an antique­looking image by using sepia tone or turn a colored one into black and white for a totally different look.

Use color to create overlays, add touches here and there on a plain photo and other methods to make your stock photo images stand out.

One thing to remember when changing or cropping photos is to first find out if the site or photographer where you got the stock photos allows this type of changes to their original work.

When you’re working in the confines of a tight budget, using stock photos creatively can help give your blog or website a whole new look – and one that you can easily afford.


Tips on Using Stock Photos Effectively on Your Blog or Website

If you’re creative, stock photos can be very effective in increasing interest in your online content. Look at best­ selling book covers and see how the publishers are using photos, rather than drawings or sketches, to make the covers stand out.

The old saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but when you’re searching for a new and interesting one, you likely grab it off the shelf according to a cover that catches your eye. Then, if you like the subject matter and content, you purchase the book.

It’s the same with your online content. If someone enters your site and it looks boring, it’s likely they won’t hang around. There are some effective ways you can use free stock photos to grab your visitors’ interest and compel them to read on. Here are a few tips:

Use captions – Adding text to add to the meaning of a photo is an old trick of the trade that compels people to linger and read about the photo or the meaning of the photo they’re looking at.

You can also place text within the photo by adding speech bubbles or use text and colors that stand out and make that standard photo really work for you.

Photoshop – Adobe’s Photoshop is an editing program that helps you change the images in photos to more express the meaning you want to get across.

If you don’t want to pay for a software program, try some of the many photoshop brushes that are free and that you can use to somewhat change a stock photo’s image.

Break up content – Rather than have line after line of text on your blog or website, break it up with an interesting or useful photo. Be sure that it relates to the content.

Not only does breaking up text with a photo make the content more interesting – it also makes what you’re saying more memorable. Sometimes a picture truly is worth a thousand words.

When you add a photo that’s interesting and better explains the text you’ve added, your ability to attract attention surges. Readers will likely look at the picture to get an idea of the content before they even read a word of what you’ve written.

Using photos throughout the content also tends to keep your audience’s attention focused on the point you’re trying to make. It’s an easy way to make your content stand out from others.

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